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The great enhancement debate
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Vancouver, US
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    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
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    My tribute (and oath) to humanity

    Artwork by Alex Grey

    I find myself here, situated in front of my computer at 1am (on a school night, no doubt), completely and utterly confused; wondering where to begin. This elaborately structured, seemingly uniform reality that we humans call existence is really starting to play games with my head. At first glance the universe, in all of its glory, is like clockwork perfection, but study it a bit deeper and you find that It's not what it appears to be... it's all so chaotic. It's all so unpredictable despite the absoluteness that mathematics is supposed to ensure us. So many things occurring simultaneously, too many equal and opposite reactions, I find it extremely difficult to keep track of it all. Can anyone though? Most of the time I just wish I can filter out all the obscurities of reality and comprehend nothing but truth: the fundamental variable in the master equation. My profound curiosity and fascination for the world around me sometimes seems to betray my personal well-being. When finally I feel that I've fully grasped an abstract concept, it transcends into a whole other dimension of complexity. I find myself once again staring at the long road ahead of me. Whenever I think I'm 99.9% sure about something, I'm suddenly presented with an elaborate alternative that I'm sometimes reluctantly obligated to take into consideration. I can only imagine how modern-day scientists must feel. The possibilities of the universe seem infinite, and perhaps I'm too open-minded, because I find that the amount of theoretical speculation I'm exposed to in a day is enough to drive me insane. And well... who's to say curiosity isn't actually a misinterpreted product of insanity? A dangerous flook in our brain patterns. That notion alone causes a massive upwelling of uncertainty in me almost every time I think it. I often imagine that there exists a world full of these delusional, misinformed crazies that I myself (and the whole of SpaceCollectives.org for that matter) am apart of.

    But now I find myself here again. My automatism continues to lead me astray, but this time things are different. This time I'm presented with a reality in which I can see a 19-year-old man sitting in front of his computer at 1:30am (on a school night, no doubt). I observe the natural, methodical process of his fingers gliding across the keyboard. A process that very accurately converts his intangible, innate thoughts into comprehensible sentences. Beginning as nothing more than electrochemical impulses within the brain, his stream of thoughts have now been externalized into our physical reality; accessible to virtually anyone in the world. Even more bizarre, the words that this man types at this very moment seem to suggest that he is capable of simultaneously viewing himself in an entirely omnipotent perspective at any given point in time. He is a human, nothing more than a manifestation of naturally occurring chemicals. A byproduct of nature; consciously aware of himself, unconsciously aware of the cosmos that created him. A counterpart to the mechanical universe.

    We are thinking, profoundly intelligent human beings capable of generating the most elaborate abstractions of reality; sometimes not even fully aware that we’re doing it! How many atomic manifestations in the entire universe get the privilege of saying that? Too few apparently. We are the universe’s ultimate tool of awareness. From our little spec of a home planet, sitting next to one star in which there are countless others, nestled within a seemingly forgotten and insignificant galaxy in which there are billions of others, we’re able to extend our minds to the farthest reaches of our reality. Humans are the most fascinating and complex astronomical phenomena that I can think of. Why then, would I even dare claim the first paragraph of this post to be written by me? The answer is simple: I, as well as many others, take this gift of life and intelligence for granted. The beauty of humanity is obscured by our own self-indulgence, arrogance, and ignorance. But I digress, because from here on out, I shall view us the same way in which we view the gods that we ourselves created.

    Fri, Feb 5, 2010  Permanent link

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    weather     Fri, Feb 5, 2010  Permanent link
    A friend once said to me that Humans are the sensory organs the universe spawns to perceive itself.

    I can relate to your rant. Thank you for wordifying this thought.
         Sat, Feb 6, 2010  Permanent link
    Weather, that idea's gaining a lot of ground these recent days in people's heads. Bout time!

    "Through our eyes, the universe is perceiving itself. Through our ears, the universe is listening to its harmonies. We are the witnesses through which the universe becomes conscious of its glory, of its magnificence."


    I heard that first on butdoesitfloat.com, (An excellent gallery partly curated by folkert who I'm going to pass my many thanks on to right now, it's good stuff!), via Alan Watts. I then posted it on my facebook status. Looked into it a bit after someone asked where the quote was from exactly. Turns out it was from some russian dude standing in front of a bulldozer in Antactica in a Herzog movie paraphrasing watts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwjjasLIdPY

    Anyways, you're right. We are taking ourselves for granted, and we're generally not realizing our godlike potential to the fullest. So, besides observing these ideas, what do you got in mind for dealing with it?
    weather     Sun, Feb 7, 2010  Permanent link
    Yeah! Its called Encounters at the End of the World. An amazing film.
    Herzog's masterpiece imo
    TheUndying     Sun, Feb 7, 2010  Permanent link
    Weather: I was first exposed to the concept of a self-aware universe after hearing Carl Sagan's quote "we are the way for the cosmos to know itself." It immediately got me thinking.

    I think I'll be checking that movie out for sure though

    Dmitri: Personally, I feel powerless when it comes to addressing the fact that humans are the way they are, and that our current state is not the state we should be in. Moreover that it's completely possible for humanity to get out of our current state. I think it will take some sort of major scientific breakthrough ( or failure), like in the case of the Copernican revolution, to realize that we're in need of a major paradigm shift. I also find myself thinking a lot about the notion that humans are capable of changing only when on the brink of destruction.

    What do I have in mind though? Well, we find that we have two major truth-seeking methods: Science and Spirituality. Why these methods were split into opposing standpoints in the first place is obviously open to interpretation, but as far as I know, they need to be reunited. String Theory and Chaos Theory are two fields that I'm particularly enthusiastic about when it comes to the scientific approach to truth seeking. Also, I've come to realize that the cosmos is as much an internal thing as it is external, which is why I think the ancient Eastern Buddhists are considered the first "psychonauts." Exploring the universe through the human mind alone. We need to somehow incorporate the human mind into the scientific method. I could be thinking about it all the wrong way though... humans tend to envision false realities out of wishful thinking.

         Tue, Feb 9, 2010  Permanent link
    Right on. We do need a new theory of mind, and not just that - We need one that can allow us to produce results which take us out of our current darwinian-oriented model, I think. Augmented consciousness, or maybe even eventually entirely altered consciousness to an unrecognizable yet superior state is what I got in mind! You one of those people that sees it happening within our lifetime towards beautiful results? It's also a battle against letting the attitude that it's all wishful thinking destroy potential paths in reality you'll never know were better cause you never tried em - There's a lot of examples in history of this if you look around. Experimentation with EVERYTHING is what science is all about, and if we haven't tried it, we don't know shit about it.
    jazzmann91     Wed, Feb 10, 2010  Permanent link
    Your fear of insanity and need for 100% certainty will cause you endless curiosity and probably disappointment. If you get past the fear you'll see that being insane, just means you have to be more strategic in how you present yourself. For some reason most people think insanity comes with a lack of control over one's actions, but does it always?

    Also, if your mind was "too open", as you surmise, you would be more sane, do little, and view most of the rest of humanity as insane.

    About mind theory: I would encourage people to trust some of the oldest known theories of the mind and meditate more. When your mind is gone, you will know 100% of nothing. Which is what I make claim to. My motto is I know nothing and I don't believe it! :-)

    About paradigms: No paradigm shift will save us, because humans don't understand paradigms and don't relate to them. There will be a weaponless revolution eventually. It should be fun. Hopefully, sooner rather than later. I hope you'll participate.
    TheUndying     Wed, Feb 10, 2010  Permanent link
    Jazzmann91: Thanks for the feedback! The content of this post was actually a reflection resulting from my own personal paradigm shift. I suppose it's practical to believe that a global paradigm shift is no longer possible, it would evidently take some extreme inertial forces to push all of humanity into a unified direction. The idea of a weaponless revolution however is just as satisfying. Anti-militarism would have drastic benefits to humanity that I don't even need to mention, because I'm sure everyone on this website can already foresee them.

    My biggest concern is the self-destruction of humanity as a consequence to truth being so profoundly obscured that this generation, and all that come after, won't ever be capable of touching on it again. Additionally, the sub-fear of my biggest used to be that truth was never meant (a word I'm using lightly in this context) to be conceived by humanity in the first place, but that fear has long dissipated since my discovery of Eastern Buddhist practices; meditation most importantly. By tapping into my spiritual wavelengths I've realized that some of nature's truths lie far behind the veil of objectivity, and even further behind the veil of subjectivity, into a depth so profoundly innate it's no wonder it's so easily hidden from us. At the same time, adding science into the truth-seeking method (pseudosciences not included) effectively provides us with the understanding and tools needed to discover the truths of the material world; our external reality. The product of this collaboration is the universe's forever expanding awareness of itself. I'm aware however that truth-seeking is not that simple a concept. As a matter of fact, a wise human once said, "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."

    I digress...

     
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